Shabbat Parashat Bereshit | 5768
Bereishit | 24 Tishrei 5768 | 10/4/2008
Adam was created by Hashem and was put into the Garden of Eden to enjoy it and to serve his Maker. Unfortunately, he sinned by eating from the fruit of a forbidden tree and was, together with his wife, banished from the Garden. We, their offspring, are still paying the price for their sin. Our Rabbis tell us that a mitzva drags along another mitzva and a sin drags along a sin (Devarim Rabba 6). It is therefore worthwhile to see if eating the wrong fruit was the first mistake or whether it was caused by earlier missteps.
[We now complete our revisited look at some laws and philosophy of shemittah with a short history of Rav Yisraeli’s involvement in the development of the modern practices in this regard.] Hagaon Harav Shaul Yisraeli z.t.l. was appointed rabbi of Kfar Haro’eh (a religious agricultural moshav, named after Rav Kook) during the shemittah year 5698 (1938). Although the basic laws of shemittah were known, many practical details needed to be elucidated and applied.
Case: The plaintiff (=pl) negotiated with the defendant (=def)the purchase of property. The two arrived at a sales price of 25,000 liras, and a down payment of 3,000 liras was made. In the meantime, a contract was in the process of being drafted and negotiated. Before this was completed, def decided to sell the property to a relative. Pl claims that the payment of money should work as a kinyan, thus preventing def from backing out. Def says that she informed her lawyer, who was handling the stages of the transaction, that her relatives should have priority and she informed the potential buyer as soon as it became clear that a relative was interested.